Male-Female Communication

We all know that men and women communicate differently. There are many books like Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus by John Gray. Getting The Love You Want and Keeping The Love You Have by Dr. Hendrix. The Seven Habits of Highly Successful Marriage by Dr. Gottman is another excellent book. There is even a series of CD's and books by David Deida: The Way of the Superior Man and several others that deal with male-female communication. All are valid and worth reading.

While this deals with male-female communication, it could also be applied to female-female and male-male communication. Whether married or single, most of these communication struggles affect all types of relationships, gay or straight. The commonality is the ability to communicate one's needs effectively in a non-violent way and free of irrational emotion or demands. I might mention another expert on communication: Marshal Rosenberg, Ph.D. who founded the Center for Non-Violent Communication. Dr. Rosenberg helps couples, institutions, war- torn countries, et al. to examine their needs and identify them; he claims that once one identifies their needs that he can solve most conflicts within 20 minutes. This may seem grandiose but I've listened to his CD's and read some of his books and his methods seem very logical and sound.

So, positive communication is a major key to improving male-female interaction but sometimes, it's not enough. This is why I do men's work and support men's groups: church groups like Promise Keepers, Unitarian Men's Fellowhip and the Mankind Project, to name a few groups. There are many more. I believe women need their groups: church related or female drumming groups or support groups or quilting groups, etc. There are some things that are passed between a same gender group that can't be transmitted by simply male-female couples therapy. Having run men's groups for over 10 years, I can tell you that something powerful happens among men in their own healing group that can't be supplied by the opposite sex and the same is true for women. That is why I believe women have been healthier than men for thousands of years in many ways. They've always communicated in small and large groups with mothers, sisters, friends, aunts, grandmothers in ways that men have not. Men are learning how to adapt female connectedness to their groups and male friendships and I believe this has helped add years to their lives.

©2010, Michael Shaffran

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Mike Shaffran is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Psychotherapist with over 30 years experience in the mental health profession. He's worked most of his time in outpatient Psychiatric clinics where he has provided individual, couples/marital, family and group therapy. He is trained in multiple therapies, including: Psycho-dynamic, Gestalt,Structural-Strategic Family, Solution focused, Brief Therapy, and other methods. He is trained in EMDR ( a type of therapy for PTSD), hypnosis, meditation and guided imagery also. Mike is committed to ongoing seminars, workshops and trainings to keep current with the latest therapy to provide the best services possible to his clients. www.sanluisobispotherapy.com or E-Mail

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